After her son disappeared, Jennifer Samples couldn't sleep. She didn't want to stop praying for Christopher. Her congregation, Immanuel Lutheran, Pepin, Wis., has responded by keeping vigil since the 3-year-old's June 2 disappearance.
"I don't think any of us imagined what God was calling us to when we promised to partner with and support Christopher [on his baptism day]," says Karna Baseman-Stark, Immanuel's pastor. "We need him back desperately to be who we are as a community. We're creating a net of connections hoping each stitch will help us get Christopher back."
Authorities are searching for Jennifer's estranged husband, Mark, who didn't return Christopher after a weekend visit. Mark Samples, 39, was free on bond while facing federal bank robbery charges. He is likely in eastern Ohio or West Virginia. He is a Gulf War veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome, is an Internet enthusiast and has worked in clinics drawing blood. He weighs 225 pounds and has hazel eyes and short brown hair.
Christopher, a brown-haired, blue-eyed boy with a scar on his left cheek, sometimes goes by "Chrissy" or "Thomas."
If you have information, contact the FBI's Rochester, Minn., office (507-282-7322) or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (877-446-2632). See www.cannon.net/~christopher for more information.
© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers